Another neighborhood staple comes to an end as Schulte Hardware - KMOV.com

Another neighborhood staple comes to an end as Schulte Hardware closes its doors

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Schulte Hardware in Normandy, owned and operated for four generations, will shut its doors for good Wednesday. (Credit: KMOV) Schulte Hardware in Normandy, owned and operated for four generations, will shut its doors for good Wednesday. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A north St. Louis County institution is closing down after nearly 100 years.

Schulte Hardware in Normandy, owned and operated for four generations, will shut its doors for good Wednesday.

Customers came to the store Tuesday, but not necessarily to buy anything.

Many, like Alice Vlietstra, had been shopping there for a long time.

“Oh, maybe about 40 years,” Vlietstra said.

Some, like Kevin Burgess, have been a customer even longer.

All the merchandise was 50 percent off, but many came not to save but with something to say.

I knew this was going to be my last time to express my appreciation for the wonderful help they've given me,” Vlietstra said.

James Schulte has been in the business since he was a teenager, but the “mom and pop" stores that were once so common are a dying breed.

After the business was passed from one generation to the next, the time came for it to close its doors.

There was no other alternative,” owner James Schulte said. “Declining sales are declining sales, it is what it is.”

Maureen Montaigne worked at Schulte Hardware for 32 years.

“It's sad, most of these people I've seen their kids grow up, seen their grandkids,” she said. “Some of them have become very good friends.”

“A lot of customers come in want a piece of the store; something to remember us by. I didn't really realize, anything with our name on it, something personal to them, they wanted that,” Schulte said.

The closing of decades-old hardware stores is trend News 4 has noticed in recent years.

The most recent happened just last month in south St. Louis. Oak Hill True Value closed in December after 86 years in the Tower Grove South neighborhood.

The Ferguson True Value closed in October. That store on South Florissant Road operated for more than 50 years.

Hanneke Hardware on The Hill closed in 2015. It had been in operation for more than 85 years.

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